10 Ways to Become a Better Leader
To increase the success and involvement of your team, develop your leadership skills and become a better leader.
- Gaining effective leadership skills may have a significant positive influence on the performance of your team, company, and even yourself.
- You must comprehend your own motivations, talents, and shortcomings if you want to be a successful leader.
- Open communication, supporting employee growth and development, and providing and accepting criticism are all ways that great leaders build relationships with their teams.
Anyone may assign chores from a corner office, but good leadership involves more than that. Effective leaders have a significant influence on their organization’s overall performance in addition to the team members they oversee. Great leaders tend to make their staff members happier, more productive, and more invested in the company, which has a knock-on impact that improves your company’s bottom line.
According to Dana Brownlee, the creator of Professionalism Matters, “I believe a great leader is one who improves others around them.” There are various ways to determine if someone is a great leader, but I like to focus on others around them: Are they developing, becoming better leaders themselves, inspired, etc.?
It could be time to reevaluate and revise your methods if you take a glance around and see that your team members are no longer interested or moving forward with their task. According to Brownlee, the following actions might indicate that your leadership approach is subpar:
- In the last month, no one in your team has questioned a single one of your suggestions.
- Compared to your team mates, you spend more time planning your own professional development.
- You don’t talk to a team member at least three times a week about things that aren’t linked to work.
- If asked what your top three priorities are for the year, various team members will respond in different ways.
- Team members worry about failing.
According to recent research by the Center for Creative Leadership, 38% to more than 50% of new leaders fail during the first 18 months of their tenure. By using effective leadership techniques that inspire their team members to achieve their objectives, leaders may avoid falling victim to this horrific statistic.
In order to find out what those leadership techniques are and how you might use them, we consulted with CEOs, directors, and leadership specialists.
1. Communicate openly and honestly.
Employees using computers to communicate
Open communication with your team members is one of the most crucial components of good leadership. Your team members should look to you for honesty and integrity, according to Sanjay Patoliya, the founder and director of Teclogiq.
It’s crucial to be direct when you’re in charge of a group of people, he remarked. Your staff will follow if you make honesty and ethics a core value in your business since they are a mirror of you.
Great leaders, according to Brownlee, can adapt their relationships and communication techniques to fit each circumstance and team member, taking into account personal preferences. This implies that they take the time to ascertain the preferred method of communication for each team member, such as whether they like texting, emailing, talking on the phone, or meeting in person. Additionally, they have excellent listening skills and genuine curiosity in other people.
Actively communicating with your team and being transparent may increase trust and boost morale. Being sincere in all of your conversations is crucial, according to Ruslan Fazlyev, CEO and creator of e-commerce solutions business Ecwid.
There are several forms of leadership; there is no right or wrong, he said. But there are real things and phony things. There is no support for phony leadership.
2. Communicate with the members of your team.
Being able to trust and understand your team members is essential when leading a group of individuals. Leaders need to practice connection in order to do this.
According to leadership author and consultant Terry “Star bucker” St. Marie, becoming a “more human” leader requires positivism, purpose, empathy, compassion, humility, and love. These essential characteristics will set you up for successful interactions with your team.
As St. Marie put it, “creating a genuine, personal relationship with your coworkers is crucial to fostering the shared trust required to create a strong culture of responsibility and excellent performance.” The team may have a profitable company, a content team, and a satisfied leader with that culture in place.
Focus on learning about each team member’s personality, interests, strengths, limitations, hobbies, and preferences if you want to establish a relationship with them. This might help you understand their intentions and drives.
According to Patoliya, effective leaders empower their staff to use their own abilities to contribute value and establish a sense of autonomy. Employees’ confidence in themselves and their leader grows along with their performance when their leader is able to identify the skills of certain team members and give them the freedom to be accountable and responsible.
3. Promote both professional and personal development.
Being a successful leader involves playing the role of your team’s cheerleader. You ought to care about their development and success.
Abbracci Group CEO Keri Ohlrich advised managers to put aside some money, even a modest amount, for their staff members’ personal development.
There is plenty of opportunity to continue learning new skills or improving old ones, she added, with alternatives as diverse as on-demand, virtual, and in-person possibilities. “Give your staff the freedom to learn new things and incorporate them into their job,” the author advises.
You should make emotional investments in your workers’ development in addition to financial ones. According to John Rampton, the founder and CEO of Calendar, excellent leaders enable their staff to develop by providing them with difficult chances and providing guidance as required.
“Leadership strategy is about enabling people to perform their best and take on new challenges to engage and inspire personnel,” he added. “Employees like challenges and the sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting them. Allowing people to handle these obstacles is always a smart idea, whether the difficulty is a difficult customer, a difficult sale, a challenging circumstance, or anything else.
Leaders may be amazed by how much they can achieve when they trust in their team members and offer them the chance to develop. Don’t be hesitant to provide responsibilities to others and promote individuality and innovation.
4. Maintain a cheerful outlook.
Even while team leaders would want for everything to always go according to plan, difficulties will always arise. The way you manage a difficult issue speaks volumes about your leadership abilities, regardless of how serious the blunder is or how trivial it was.
Robert Mann, author of The Measure of a Leader (iUniverse, 2013), advised choosing to look for the positive in every situation. Before you decide what makes a situation unsatisfactory, consider three good aspects of it. People interact with one another more favorably the more you focus on the positive aspects of a situation.
According to Mann’s study, people are better able to think rationally and solve problems once they list the positive aspects of a challenging circumstance. This is because they are less emotionally invested in the issue at hand. The same holds true for leaders who need to strengthen their plan. Find out what you’ve done in the past that has worked if you or a team member discovers a certain course of action you’ve taken isn’t working.
Patoliya said that keeping your staff engaged by concentrating on solutions rather than issues might assist. “A productive staff is more likely to develop in a favorable atmosphere. A good leader will recognize the influence they may have on their workplace by projecting passion and confidence.
5. Give advice to workers rather than directives.
A good leader understands how to demonstrate to others what is needed rather than only telling them. Leaders should teach their team members toward a more dedicated, collaborative workplace, according to Luke Iorio, president and CEO of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), rather than persuading them.
You won’t get the degree of engagement you want “if you are commanding individuals to do particular things in specific ways,” he added. “Coaching is about assisting the individuals you lead in realizing the options available to them. The direction of the enterprise will thereafter be greatly owned by the people.
Rampton argued that effective leaders should foster learning by instructing team members as opposed to just giving commands. “People wouldn’t develop if leaders never imparted knowledge to them. In order to develop future leaders to take their place, leaders must educate.
6. Specify objectives and goals for employees.
Employee performance is largely dependent on your team having clear objectives and expectations for its members. Encourage staff input and questions while developing these goals. Engaging them in the process may improve it.
According to ALTR Created Diamonds president Amish Shah, effective leaders will also outline the company’s mission and how each team member’s aspirations fit into that picture.
“A leader has to keep their staff informed about their goal in order to excite and inspire them,” he stated. This makes it easier for workers to comprehend the goal that the whole team is striving towards. Everyone can monitor progress and recognize accomplishments when objectives are clearly defined.
Ohlrich emphasized the need of articulating how these objectives affect the corporation as a whole. No of their level of seniority, she added, every employee should be able to explain how what they do contributes to the company’s success.
Maintain the objectives of your team members. Review your objectives periodically and adjust them as necessary. By doing this, you’ll show your team members that you’re there and paying attention to what they’re working on.
7. Express candid criticism on performance.
The greatest method to lead your team in the correct direction, according to Taso Du Val, CEO and creator of the Toptal freelance talent network, is to provide open, direct feedback, even if it is criticism. To be able to provide them the proper advice, you must also be completely aware of the direction your company is taking.
People won’t be able to develop if you aren’t straightforward with them about how you feel about them and their job, according to Du Val. “No matter how much you’ve communicated to your staff and leadership team about their individual success, they will struggle when it comes to making judgments and acting if you don’t know the exact direction your firm is heading. Once these fundamental concepts are in place, it will be simple to implement deadlines, frequent product planning, performance evaluations, structure, and procedures.
Highlight employee achievements in addition to giving constructive criticism and performance assessments. Inform a team member when they do well. Thank them for their efforts and celebrate their victories.
Positive reinforcement will foster a productive workplace, according to Shah. In addition to being motivating, explaining how a success affects the company rather than just giving someone a pat on the back makes them work harder in the long term.
8. Request input on your leadership.
Honest feedback is useful for everyone, not just your team members. Since it may be difficult to accurately analyze one’s own leadership abilities, advisors, colleagues, and even one’s own employees can be quite helpful in gauging one’s performance. St. Marie asserts that discussing your leadership style and approach with friends and peers might help you get the appropriate perspective.
You may identify your areas of need for development with the aid of leadership coaching. More inspiring than books and seminars alone might be a professional who assists you in creating a strategy to meet your leadership objectives.
Coaching enables leaders to connect the dots and implement [changes] in a practical situation, according to Iorio. You won’t have lasting change until you take the necessary time to integrate, analyze, and reflect.
Fazlyev concurred, pointing out that your team may provide important insight into what is working, what is not, and what challenges you must face to succeed.
9. Be receptive to new ideas.
Effective leaders are able to recognize and embrace the fact that change is unavoidable. Accept change and innovation instead than striving to keep things the same only for the sake of constancy. Be receptive to fresh perspectives and other ways of thinking. Everyone offers a distinct viewpoint to the table, which should be embraced rather than shunned.
“You fully embrace every option and potential when you’re open to hearing the opinions of the talent around you,” stated Shah. See things through to completion. Recognize that mistakes will be made along the road, but before giving up on a project, attempt to determine why and how it failed.
Encourage your colleagues to share their ideas while tackling a challenge. True creativity, engagement, and success may prevail when workers feel free to freely share fresh ideas.
10. Recognize your own driving forces.
It will be obvious if someone in a leadership position sees their work as “simply a job.” You need the correct motivation if you want to lead effectively. Do you really want to motivate individuals to perform to the best of their abilities, or are money and status more important to you?
St. Marie counseled those in positions of leadership to really consider their motivations. “I see being a leader as a privilege and a calling. You are undoubtedly off to a good start if you really believe that leadership is your calling and the way you’ll change the world.
Ohlrich said that understanding what drains your energy is just as vital as understanding what stimulates you. Knowing your strengths and limitations will enable you to broaden your team and build a skill set that is well-rounded. It is beneficial to avoid surrounding oneself with people who are exact replicas of you and to avoid hiring them.
Your leadership style should also be assessed since it affects how you communicate with your team. There are nine distinct types of leadership, and the most effective ones can customize each one for their circumstances and workforce. Take a simple leadership self-assessment test from the Leading With Courage Academy to gauge your leadership skills if you are presently in a leadership position but are unsure of where you rank on some of these criteria.
Keep in mind that developing into a competent leader takes time. Even while some people have strong leadership qualities inherently, everyone can learn them and develop them. You can guide your team to success through effort, commitment, and strategic preparation.